Last weekend was perhaps one of the most exciting weekends I have ever had due to running OxGadgets. Why? Acer took me and a bunch of other journalists and bloggers up to Edinburgh, set us some challenges, gave us some kit, and off we went. You can read more about the challenges at the following link:
While more details are already there, we were given the following:
- Switch 10, an all in one tablet
- An Acer Iconia Tab 8
- The Acer Liquid Jade phone
- The Acer Leap – fitness tracker
So, what do I think of them all?
Acer Liquid Leap
I start with the one that probably didn’t live up to its promise. The Liquid Leap fitness tracker from Acer.
The device is much like a smart watch, allowing you to see notifications, with an OLED touch screen, as well as mapping your various activities during the day as well as how well you slept at night. Featuring an acceleration sensor, it allows you to read your emails/texts as well as control items such as music and camera using the app. Perhaps more interesting was the GUI, which features a touch screen which can be swiped to see different screens. The promise of an up to a week long battery makes this ever so more attractive, plus basics such as being waterproof help. It uses a cradle to charge, which hooks around the watch. That does mean you can’t wear it while charging it.
So, how did it perform? Not so well sadly. Though nothing that can’t be fixed with a software update. The display takes a certain ‘knack’ to wake up. It needs a double tap, but the taps kept getting brutal as the day went on. A lot of us also struggled to pair this with the app. In fact, I managed to pair it with my phone, but not the app, and I was still getting notifications on it. Not sure how, but I won’t complain. I also took it with me in the shower, thought I had killed it, only to realize it had lost all charge when I was playing with it. The devices we got were not fully charged, and we only managed to charge them for about 20 minutes to an hour each.
When it did work though, it wasn’t too bad. The swipe motion is quite an interesting way to go through menus, and makes good use of the screen. While I am not a fan of reading time sideways, it works if it works for you. You can swap the display upside down if you want, and perform other edits too. Also, it may be LED but it is perfectly readable in the sunlight as well.
I didn’t get a chance to test it on how well I slept, but that shall remain for another day.
Like I said, it had promise but didn’t deliver. I am hoping a quick software update from the Acer team shall put this right in line with the competition. One must not ignore the good price point though.
More information at the following link:
It retails for £79.00 and can be bought directly from the website.
Acer Liquid Jade
The first thing you notice about this phone is how thin it is. Incredibly so. With a decent set of features, such as 1280×720 resolution, 120g weight, 13MP camera, 1.3 Quad Core processor, dual SIM capable with microSD option, this ticks a lot of boxes. One of the more advanced feature available on this and no other is the fact that it packs in AcerNav, an app that Acer have developed with none other than navigation gurus, TomTom. Similar apps can cost anywhere up to £70 for other users, which makes this phone quite a good value.
So, how did it fare? Not bad, not amazingly good. While it being thin and light is an amazing feature, one of the things we constantly found was that the camera, while great in sunny outdoor conditions, just didn’t work very well in worse ones. The day we were out was quite grey, and the blue tinge was quite noticeable on all the pictures. A bit hit and miss, but great for the price range. Overall though, what makes it work was the fact that it comes with almost vanilla Android, which helps most geeks like me. Acer’s own apps such as AcerNav was brilliant too, though I couldn’t find a way to enter post codes into it. I am sure it was one feature I hadn’t yet managed to find.
More information on the following link:
It retails for £229.
Acer Iconia Tab 8 (Full HD)
Featuring 1.33GHz of Intel Atom Quad Core processing power, 16GB of memory and a beautiful screen that features a 1920 x 1200 display, this is the tablet to have. 8 inches, a size that was ignored for quite a while has suddenly become the norm for the most productive size. With handy features such as zero air gap, a camera at both back and front and the ability to wake it up by five finger touch is great. You can also program various gestures for this, which is another interesting touch.
So, what do we think about this one? This fits right in the budget tablet range, with good premium features. A mix really, if you ask me. While the screen is perhaps the best feature, it may struggle when you’re trying to load heavy games and such like. Being fully featured means you get an HDMI output, as well as solid and sleek build. A micro SD card slot is almost necessary these days, though it is only expandable up to 32 GB.
All in all, a good decent tablet, with the screen being a major highlight for those of us who travel a lot, and like to watch our on demand video content.
More information about this can be found at the following link:
It retails for £174.74.
Please note that this one is a Full HD version. A similar version with lower resolution is also available under Iconia Tab 8, which retails for about £139.99.
Acer Aspire Switch 10
It is definitely the time of all in ones, and this is Acer’s brilliant offering in what is starting to become a fairly congested market place. The Aspire Switch 10 features a tablet/keyboard combo that can be put together in all kinds of ways. Laptop, tent, presentation and tablet mode. The fact that you can simply pop up the screen and turn it around makes for a more interesting device straight away.
So what does it offer? A quad core Intel Atom processor is the main brains, with a micro SD expansion port, a micro USB and micro HDMI output on the tablet itself, with a USB port on the keyboard. It features 2 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of flash memory, with a 10.1″ screen, that is specially designed with ‘Zero Air Gap’ to give you the best possible performance. The screen itself is 1366 x 768 pixels, which puts it in line with rest of the world. It also features an 8 hour battery life.
So, what did I think? This was definitely my favourite device of the lot. A good price, extreme productivity and small size all join together to give a great working package. In fact, my last post about the event was written on this, and I wish I had some more time with it. Perhaps the only thing I may complain about is the fact that it says Windows 8.1 on specs but it came preloaded with Windows 8. However, that is only a free upgrade away.
More information can be found on the following link:
It retails for £282 upwards.
So there you go, all in all, a very gadgetty weekend! Let me know your thoughts. I hope to get a chance to try more of these, so any questions you may have will be useful! All this was done mostly over the weekend!